Archive for Dale Farm

No Borders Round Up: Yarls Wood, Calais, Bristol, Cardiff, Dale Farm

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Monday, 8 February, 2010 by bristolnoborders

Hunger Strike: Yarls Wood Immigration Prison, Bedfordshire

Yarls Wood On Fire during previous resistance in 2007

Since the 5th of February 2010, we the residents at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre are on hunger strike which involves over 84 + women, who are protesting against the period of time spent in detention and the treatment that they receive while being detained.The strike was sparked to protest and demand that the frustration and humiliation of all foreign nationals ends now.

A full statement of demands by the Women can be found here

Calais – Kronstadt Hanger Eviction

Arrested for helping migrants

Brighton No Borders Writes: Since the news of the impending opening of the Kronstadt Hanger, a self-organised resource centre for activists and migrants alike, the police had closely monitored the building and effective mounted a blockade of it since last Friday. On Saturday, people managed to circumvent the 3 police lines blocking access to the front door (they did not force their way in as Besson has claimed). Their numbers were swollen with migrants who were once again shelter-less following the closure after 2 days of the cold weather shelter at the BCMO…full report here A number of Bristol No Borders activists were present.

A statement from Sos Sans Papier can also be found (in french only)here: here.

Bristol Immigration Raid:

The UK Border Agency raided the Glassboat in Welsh Back during a lunch service and closed it off as officers arrested a Jamaican kitchen porter and Peruvian sous chef. Mr Lee, the owner said the Jamaican woman had been working at Glassboat since 2003 and that in 2008 the restaurant wrote to the Home Office to support an application to extend her visa.

He added: “The way they operated was a little shocking and heavy- handed. They didn’t ask to see the documents we had – and the office where I have copies of their documents is 100 yards away. They weren’t interested at all. They were like Stormtroopers as they made their way into the restaurant at the beginning of service at a time we had customers waiting to be seated.The “full” story and the normal racist comments can be found on the This is Bristol website: here

Meanwhile, Alberto Durango, persecuted by his employers and UKBA for his union activism has been sacked (again) by the Lancaster Cleaning Company in London. Background can be found here

Demo last year for AlbertoMore background and details of solidarity demo here.

Cardiff – Anti Mass Deportation Demo

Last Wednesday (3rd Feb) Bristol No Borders joined their Comrades from South Wales in a picket outside the Regional UKBA headquarters in Cardiff to protest against a mass deporrtation to unsafe Nigeria. A full report can be found here.

Dale Farm Travellers

Hanningfield - Wanker

On a lighter Note, Traveller-hating posh-knob-scum-bag Lord Hanningfield is one of four politicians who face prosecution for the parlimenatry expenses scandal. Hanningfield is presently charged with making thousands of pounds worth of false claims for overnight accommodation while allegedly being chauffer-driven home from parliament.

It was he who wanted to tear down Dale Farms’s community centre and Chapel and had been the Queen’s Deputy Lieutenant of the county when in 2004 bailiffs and riot police stormed the Meadowlands caravan park,burning homes and evicting Travellers onto the road in freezing winter weather.

A interesting ariticle by Gratton Puxton about Dale Farm and “Irish” Travellers can be found here. An impending eviction attempt still looms for Dale Farms residents.

DALE FARM – WHISTLEBLOWER SPARKS BAILIFF COMPANY PROBE

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on Saturday, 28 November, 2009 by bristolnoborders

WHISTLEBLOWER SPARKS BAILIFF COMPANY PROBE

28/11/2009 – Allegations against a bailiff company favoured to win a huge contract for the eviction operation at Dale Farm have sparked an investigation by Basildon’s internal audit officers.

The council’s cabinet is to meet on 10 December to select one of two bailiff outfits bidding for the job of evicting some hundred families from Dale Farm and nearby
Hovefields.

Constant & Co., based in Bedford, has previously carried out such work for the district council. It has been shortled listed from eight firms which originally showed interest in the contract, believed to be worth up to two million pounds.

However, should audit officers decide there is substance to any of the more serious allegations against Constant, the matter might be referred to the council’s overview and scrutiny commission.

It is also possible, under a clause in Basildon council’s constitution, that a member of the public will request any disputed decision be called in by the commission before an eviction at either location is mounted.

Internal audit officer Jill Norton, who received the initial complaints against Constant through the lately created whistleblower service, says the issues raised are being taken very seriously.

She has further acknowledged receipt of a 26-page dossier cataloguing many alleged wrongdoings by Constant bailiffs while employed by Basildon and other local authorities.

Copies of the dossier have also been sent by Dale Farm Housing Association to Conservative, Labour and Liberal members of the cabinet.

It draws attention to a warning from Brentwood, Billericay and Wickford Primary Care Trust that a forced eviction at Dale Farm would inevitably result in trauma and injury to women and children.

Constant bailiffs ignored health and safety procedures when demolishing homes at Hovefields Drive, Wickford, in 2006, it is alleged. At the same time the firm failed to carry out a risk assessment before the operation, according to to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

“A major worry is that these bailiffs will bring heavy machinery in here,” commented a Dale Farm mother. “It’s not legal to start bulldozing with children around and we won’t allow it.”

To draw attention to their fears, residents from Dale Farm are holding a protest rally outside the Basildon Centre to coincide with the cabinet meeting.

An exhibition, depicting the ill-treatment of Roma and Travellers over the past seventy years, was prepared to mark Human Rights Day, 10 December. Elements of it will still be displayed in St Martin’s square.

However, request to mount the full exhibition in the Basildon Centre was turned down by the council.

“We were not allowed to put a question to the council’s full meeting last week,” said the same mother. “They said our request was received an hour late. But we’ll
make our voice heard at this protest and hope other people will join us.”

____________ _________

Human Rights Day
DALE FARM MOTHERS’
EVICTION PROTEST
10 December, 7.30pm
Basildon Centre,
St Martin’s Square
Basildon SS14 1DL
____________ ____

Dale Farm Alert: Baliffs to be chosen Dec 12th

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on Wednesday, 21 October, 2009 by bristolnoborders

dalefarmkids

(© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk)

It’s just leaked out that Basildon Council’s Cabinet will meet on Saturday, December 12,to decide which out of two bailiffs companies to award the two million pound contract for the eviction operation at Dale Farm.One is Constant & Co.

Dale Farm is part of an Irish Traveller site on Oak Lane in Crays Hill, Essex which houses over 1,000 people. It is the largest traveller site in the UK and has been the subject of a evictoion and court action for years.
This is a fateful step as once they “mobilize”a bailiff force, there maybe no going back.For this reason, mothers are forming a Dale Farm Homeless Committee to organize the biggest yet demonstration outside the Basildon Centre (town hall) at noon that day.As its close to UN Human Rights Day (10 Dec – which  happens to be Richard Sheridan’s birthday)it will be a rally against decisions being made by local councils which still want to get rid of Travellers – spending million on brutal policies which solve nothing.
Dale Farm mothers are asking supporters to pull out all the stop for this one. Many children will
be coming. Can anyone help bring in a samba band – or other musicians? Anybody have contact with street threatre groups? Help making banners and posters etc? Minibuses will bring people in from Dale Farm.
Any extra help with transport? Contact with groups likely to join and help swell numbers? A meeting is taking place tomorrow (Thursday 22 Oct) of supporters at Essex University to expand on plans. So if you have any ideas, suggests, offers of help, post back today to
dale.farm@btinternet.com

DALE FARM EVICTION CONTRACT ATTRACTS NOTORIOUS BAILIFFS

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on Monday, 20 July, 2009 by bristolnoborders

dalefarmkids

Contact: Grattan Puxon 01206 523528

The UK’s most notorious anti-Gypsy security
firm, responsible for the brutal Twin Oaks
eviction in 2004, says it expects to take on the
biggest clearance operation ever mounted
against a village community in Britain in
modern times.

Constant & Co., which has earned tens of
millions of euro clearing Gypsies from their
own land in barely legal, hard hat-style sorties
around England, now wants the contract to
demolish Dale Farm, home to 500 Travellers
near Crays Hill, Essex.

The job, worth three million euro, would
involve removing, and in some plots smashing,
chalets and mobile-homes, and physically
forcing up to 90 families, including children,
the elderly and infirm, to leave the district,
impoverished and with nowhere legally to
live.

Along with their homes and children’s
primary school, the families stand to lose
their unique youth-club community centre and
Saint Christopher’s Chapel.

“This is ethnic-cleansing,” said one
voluntary worker who visits Dale Farm. “But
the council are trying to disguise that fact
with a lot of politically correct language.”

Because of the high cost of the work,
Basildon have been compelled to put it
out to tender in the official Journal of the
European Union. The closing date for
bids is mid-August.

In its ad the council states that the
winner bidder must ‘demonstrate a
commitment to upholding the principles
of equality and diversity legislation and
be sensitive and responsive to the
needs of people.’

However, Basildon has already
indicated it favours re-engagement
of Constant, a firm the council has already
employed for a number of small evictions.
Critics say these were conducted in a way
that flaunted EU health and safety regulations,
and resulted in the needless trashing of huge
quantities of private belongings

*//*
*/Valuable Crown Derby china and other/*
*/itms have gone missing during/*
*/some clearances/*/. /
/ /
Photographs illustrate how at Hovefields
no perimeter fencing was erected and
children were allowed in close proximity
when heavy machinery was in motion.

While the council justified its use of
s178 of the Town and Country
Planning Act to restore Greenbelt, land
at Hovefields has been left derelict.
Top-soil has been destroyed and the plots
surrounded by high earth berms.

Much of the ground is now flooded
with contaminated water from
broken cess-tanks, posing a danger
to health for children and adults who
continue to live nearby while awaiting
further Constant incursions.

CARAVANS ON FIRE

A film produced for Dale Farm
Housing Association shows caravans
on fire as bailiffs manhandle screaming
children. One plant-hire company has
discontinued renting to Constant,
branding its approach brutal.

Referring to the Twin Oaks eviction,
Justice Collins said in the High Court that
having seen a video of Constant at
work he considered the bailiffs’ conduct
unacceptable as it inevitably led to
harm to those affected.

“The council must re-consider the use of
this firm,” stated Justice Collins. He also
noted that the police had failed to curb the
excesses of Constant bailiffs.

Collins added that in cases of
serious ill-health or needs of children,
eviction would be disproportionate.
Although the right to evict has since been
upheld the conditions he attached
were adopted in a complex Court of
Appeal ruling earlier this year.

Requested under the Freedom of
Information Act to provide copies of its
obligatory Risk Assessment reports for
the Hovefields and Dale Farm evictions,
Basildon has admitted that no such
surveys have been carried out.

Jean Sheridan, a Dale Farm mother
of triplets, is fearful of the trauma bailiffs
could cause her babes. She hopes that
before Constant is ordered in she will be
able to mount a case in the European Court
of Human Rights.

“We have nowhere else to go and
my babes need medical help,” Jean
says. “They were born prematurely and
lucky to live. How will they survive the
terrors Constant will bring?”

The UK Children’s Commissioner has
asked Basildon what it intends to do to
safeguard children during demolition
and what alternate accommodation is
being offered them. No satisfactory
answer has yet been received.

Lords refuse to hear Dale Farm appeal

Posted in Dale Farm with tags , , on Sunday, 17 May, 2009 by bristolnoborders

Only hours after a UN agency launched an urgent plea for a freeze on plans to bulldoze Britain’s biggest traveller community, Dale Farm residents learnt that the House of Lords has refused to hear their appeal. Lawyers acting for Dale Farm say the case may now go to the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. But with a likely two year wait before the court could rule on the matter, it will be necessary to seek a prolonged protection from eviction.

Permission was refused on the 14th May “because the petition does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered by this House at this time, bearing in mind that the cause has already been the subject of judicial decision and reviewed on appeal.” Just before the decision by the Lords, Brazilian lawyer Leticicia Osorio, who has visted Dale Farm as part of a delegation from UN Habitat, presented the peliminary findings of the mission at meetings in the Houes of Lords organised by Lord Avebury.  UK local councils should not only stop evicting Gypsies and Travellers but also refrain from criminalizing those living on their own land without planning authorization she stated.

The preliminary report suggests that the UK through its failure to curb the racially-motivated harassment of its Gypsy population is in contravention of human rights legislation. It states there is undeniable evidence of de facto exclusion from accommodation, education and welfare provision, leaving thousands of families homeless
and without medical care. After an expected endorsement by UN Habitat next month, the recommendations will be officially presented to Downing Street.

The UN mission organizer Joseph Jones confirmed that members of the UN Mission would be present as observers should an attempt be made by bailiffs to force their way up the private Oak Lane approach to Dale Farm for the purpose of destroying homes there. Several hundred supporters have already pledged to join Dale Farm residents in forming a human shield to stop bulldozers reaching their recently-built social centre and chapel, as well as the l32 chalets, mobile-homes and caravans that comprise the estate.

Meanwhile, Basildon District Council has yet to consider the homeless applications submitted by over 90 Dale Farm households. They include a joint homeless application seeking to be re-accommodated together as a community.

Bristol No Borders are one of the groups that has pledged to support Dale Farm families in helping to resist the eviction. For more information on how you can get involved. please email us at bristolnoborders(at) riseup.net

No Borders Newsletter Spring 09

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Monday, 27 April, 2009 by bristolnoborders

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To Download,

Click, then click again

nbnewsletterspring09

Slightly Improved version:

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Dale Farm: Persecuted, evicted, fighting back!

Posted in Dale Farm with tags , , , on Sunday, 8 March, 2009 by bristolnoborders

savedalefarmbanner
We want to live in harmony, but we’ ll defend our homes and our human rights if necessary.”
– Richard Sheridan, Dale Farm spokesperson

Over 10 million gypsies, travellers and Roma live in Europe. In every country they have faced centuries of persecution for wishing to maintain their own culture. Over a quarter of a million were murdered in Nazi concentration camps. This persecution continues to the present day. Butchered in Romanian villages, ethnically-cleansed from Kosovo and more recently murdered in Hungary and fire-bombed by Italian thugs, Europe’s 12 million Roma are compelled to make common cause. And on the frontline of this growing conflict stands the bastion of Dale Farm.

The ongoing attempts by Basildon council to evict over 100 traveller families from the Dale Farm site in Crays Hill in Essex has become Britains starkest example of persecution of travellers in the UK. They have followed every suggestion, guidance and legal process that that the state have provided in order to ensure safe and secure homes for themselves and their families. Despite this they continue to face racism and harassment from the both the local council, local residents and the media – all of whom have played a part in stoking the same prejudice and hatred that has allowed the persecution of travelling communities to remain unchallenged for decades. This time the residents of Dale Farm are fighting back. In a way they have no choice – with nowhere else to go an eviction will push families back into a life of insecurity and marginalisation.

It is still unclear when the planned eviction, for which Basildon have earmarked £3million, will finally take place. Dale Farm residents are hoping to appeal to the House of Lords to overturn the Appeal Court finding, and in the meantime Basildon have to deal with over one hundred homelessness applications – one of the few obligations put on them by the Court of Appeal. They have promised that residents will be given 28 days notice of eviction – but whether this can be relied on is unclear. Recent council meetings on the issue have been held behind closed doors and Basildon council have refused to release their plans for the eviction.

Should their final appeal to the House Of Lords fail Dale Farm residents face an army of bailiffs and bulldozers. But this isn’t their last chance. Over the last 4 years the Dale Farm Residents Association have been reaching out to groups outside their own community, using the example of their struggle to highlight the wider problem of traveller repression. The call has been made for all those who refuse to accept the ignorance, intolerance and misinformation peddled by the media and the press to stand with them in solidarity. With support from local communities, churches and activists Dale Farm residents are preparing to resist the biggest traveller eviction in British history. Should they win this could represent a landmark victory – one that calls time on the isolation and repression of this until now marginalised community.

Previous traveller evictions have involved armies of bailiffs, bulldozers and wreckers. Yet Dale Farm have decided enough is enough and are calling for support in resisting. Bristol No Borders, along with many other groups, has agreed to stand with Dale Farm should the eviction finally take place. If you would like to join us please email bristolnoborders@listsriseup.net to get updates and transport down to Dale Farm.